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Thursday, September 17, 1998

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St. Robert Bellarmine

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Psalm 118
Luke 7:36-50

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loved and forgiven into love

"Little is forgiven the one whose love is small." —Luke 7:47

Do you believe that Jesus loves you so much that He died on the cross to free you from your sins? Do you believe that without Jesus' death on the cross you would be doomed to hell forever because of your sins? Each one of us has been forgiven an enormous, unpayable debt. Therefore, we should:

  • cry tears of love, contrition, and joy (see Lk 7:38),
  • love Jesus so much that we throw ourselves at His feet (Lk 7:38),
  • love Jesus so much that we wash, kiss, and perfume His feet (Lk 7:38),
  • be impelled by love to share the good news of justification and forgiveness through Jesus (see 2 Cor 5:14),
  • forgive others for even the worst offenses — after what the Lord has forgiven us (Mt 18:32ff), and
  • love everyone, even our enemies, because Jesus first loved us (1 Jn 4:19).

If our love is small, then we do not realize how loved and forgiven we are (see Lk 7:47). If our love is great, "we have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16). "Grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love" (Eph 3:18-19). Then love and forgive accordingly.

Prayer:  Father, I will live on in Your love and forgiveness (Jn 15:9).

Promise:  "I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and in which you stand firm. You are being saved by it at this very moment if you hold fast to it as I preached it to you. " —1 Cor 15:1-2

Praise:  St. Robert asked: "Who would not be glad to bear a yoke that does not press hard but caresses?"

Reference:  (We offer several publications on forgiveness. Call or write us to order them.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998